48 posts tagged with middleeast and politics.
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15 Maps That Don't Explain the Middle East at All

Violent upheaval in the Middle East has recently spawned all manner of maps purporting to explain how the region got this way. Here, instead, are 15 maps that don’t claim as much. Or rather, they do not seek, like many other maps, to capture some fixed set of core facts about the region. Instead, these maps provide a more fluid perspective on the Middle East, often by showing what didn’t happen as opposed to what did. But for all these maps don’t show, they do illustrate one thing: the sobering fact that no one map—or even set of maps—can ever explain the region’s complex history and politics.
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Aug 8, 2014 - 13 comments

Isis declares caliphate in Iraq and Syria

The militant Sunni group Isis has said it is establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, in the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria. This is not the first border we will break, we will break other borders," its spokesman warns. Standing on a border sign he threatens to "break the borders" of Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jun 30, 2014 - 161 comments

TP-AJAX

In 2011, the CIA declassified documents admitting its involvement in the 1953 coup that overthrew Iran's elected government and installed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, details of which were first first disclosed by the New York Times in 2000. Timeline. However, they refused to release them to the public. Today, the National Security Archive research institute has (after a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit) obtained and made the 21 documents public. "Marking the sixtieth anniversary of the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, the National Security Archive is today posting recently declassified CIA documents on the United States' role in the controversial operation. American and British involvement in Mosaddeq's ouster has long been public knowledge, but today's posting includes what is believed to be the CIA's first formal acknowledgement that the agency helped to plan and execute the coup. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 19, 2013 - 33 comments

It only gets worse from here

It became necessary to finish this thing. A U.S.-funded 'ally' has carried out one of the largest massacres of protesters since the 1989 assault on Tiananmen Square. At least 525 people (and counting and counting) have been killed since Egypt's police and army attacked two sit-ins in support of ousted president Muhammad Morsi on August 14th. Armored cars, police officers, and soldiers marched on the protests in Nasr City and Giza, opening fire with birdshot, tear gas, and live ammunition. It only gets worse from here. [more inside]
posted by ecmendenhall on Aug 15, 2013 - 143 comments

A New Era for Iran?

Iran has a new president, Hasan Rouhani, does that mean there might be hope for a thawing in diplomatic relations? In his inaugral speech Roughani urges an end to sanctions and promises a new era. While the White House response seems cautiously optimisitic US Senators have been pressing for tougher sanctions.
posted by Artw on Aug 4, 2013 - 56 comments

The Cartography of Bullshit

On the 15 May, Max Fisher of the Washington Post penned an article titled A fascinating map of the world’s most and least racially tolerant countries. Fisher surmised that Anglo and Latin American countries are the most tolerant, linking racism to economic freedom based off of a study by two Swedish economists. Siddhartha Mitter responds, who, in The Cartography of Bullshit writes, "Although the results don’t pass the sniff test in the first place, I took a look at the data as well, in an effort to identify the exact problems at play..." [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on May 18, 2013 - 32 comments

WSJ's Middle East Real Time blog

Since the end of March, the Wall Street Journal's new Middle East Real Time blog has written about Turkey's "unstoppable" export boom in soap operas, Saudi Arabia's "life after jihad" rehab program, the persistence of obviously fraudulent bomb detectors across Iraq, YouTube branding discussions among Syrian rebel factions, a rising media star Sunni cleric in Lebanon, a post-revolutionary Cairo arts festival, and attempts to overcome conservative objections and change the Saudi Thursday-Friday weekend to match the rest of the business world. Previous non-paywalled WSJ Real Time blogs include Korea, China, Canada, India, Brussels, Emerging Europe, Japan.
posted by mediareport on May 9, 2013 - 16 comments

How the Bush administration sold the Iraq war

“Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction,” Cheney said. “There is no doubt he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies and against us.” Zinni, sitting right next to Cheney’s lectern, says he “literally bolted” when he heard the vice president’s comments. “In doing work with the CIA on Iraq WMD [weapons of mass destruction], through all the briefings I heard at Langley, I never saw one piece of credible evidence that there was an ongoing program.” Rachel Maddow hosts Hubris: The Selling of the Iraq War, a documentary special, based on the eponymous book by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, that will air Monday, February 18 on MSNBC at 9 p.m.
posted by shivohum on Feb 18, 2013 - 218 comments

Niza Yanay - the ideology of hatred: the psychic power of discourse

"The Ideology of Hatred": An interview with Niza Yanay - "Once we understand how hatred operates as an apparatus of power relations, and particularly how the discourse of hatred is motivated and mobilised in national conflicts, serious questions about misrecognition, veiled desires and symptomatic expressions arise. These questions have, to a large extent, been left unaddressed in studies of hatred between groups in conflict." [more inside]
posted by flex on Nov 15, 2012 - 13 comments

.

Tomorrow marks the official end of the Iraq war. The Obama administration describes it as a 'promise kept'. The war resulted in a great many casualties. Although the final troop movement out of the country is not scheduled to begin for a few days, history will record December 15 as the end of the war, as the flag of the American military mission in Bagdhad is lowered and returned to the US. Scholars at Brown University estimate the total cost of the war at 265,000 dead and $3-4 trillion dollars. The main contenders for the Republican party's 2012 nomination both expressed approval and disapproval. Previously, 339 times.
posted by anigbrowl on Dec 14, 2011 - 95 comments

Nawaat

Nawaat, a Tunisian group blog (mostly in French).
posted by nangar on Apr 3, 2011 - 3 comments

Angry Birds Middle East Mashup

Russian designer Egor Zhgun (LiveJournal) remixes pop culture and politics, to humorous effect. His latest is a mashup of "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?"; the game Angry Birds; and current Middle Eastern politics into an animated political cartoon: Three Big Pigs.
via Eathan Zuckerman and Cartoon Brew
posted by artlung on Mar 30, 2011 - 9 comments

Timeline of Middle East protests

Arab spring: an interactive timeline of Middle East protests.
posted by homunculus on Mar 22, 2011 - 17 comments

The Force of Virtue

The 99 (previously), the Islamic-inspired superheroes which have met both praise and somewhat batshit controversy, are crossing over with the DC Universe.
posted by Artw on Oct 25, 2010 - 22 comments

A chance for a Middle East peace

Syria Calling: The Obama Administration’s chance to engage in a Middle East peace.
posted by homunculus on Mar 30, 2009 - 17 comments

A Social History of the Surge

A Social History of the Surge by Juan Cole.
posted by homunculus on Jul 29, 2008 - 33 comments

Admiral Fallon

The Man Between War and Peace. "As head of U. S. Central Command, Admiral William 'Fox' Fallon is in charge of American military strategy for the most troubled parts of the world. Now, as the White House has been escalating the war of words with Iran, and seeming ever more determined to strike militarily before the end of this presidency, the admiral has urged restraint and diplomacy. Who will prevail, the president or the admiral?" [Via Think Progress.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 5, 2008 - 50 comments

The Gaza Bombshell

Vanity Fair has obtained confidential documents, since corroborated by sources in the U.S. and Palestine, which lay bare a covert initiative, approved by Bush and implemented by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Deputy National Security Adviser Elliott Abrams, to provoke a Palestinian civil war.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 3, 2008 - 94 comments

Challenges Facing the US in the Middle East

Top 10 Challenges Facing the US in the Middle East, 2008 [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Dec 31, 2007 - 54 comments

Bonaparte and Bush on Deck

Lessons from Past Western Incursions in the Middle East. A speech by Juan Cole at the New America Foundation in which he discusses his new book, Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East, and the relevance and lessons of Napoleon's expedition in Egypt to the current American occupation of Iraq. A shorter version, covering many of the same points, is in this article: Pitching the Imperial Republic.
posted by homunculus on Aug 26, 2007 - 17 comments

My crystal balls sez:

PINR presents a well educated guess over what is going to happen with the Israel - Hezbollah conflict. They also offer significant background and insight into the mood and motives of some surrounding states.
posted by bigmusic on Jul 20, 2006 - 13 comments

Hark, the Canadian Liberal Party Leaders speak!

Comments that didn't get quoted because they weren't made.. Prominent Liberals have been jumping into the fray about the crisis in the Middle East and the evacuation of Canadians from Lebanon. Here are some (parodied) comments from them.
posted by orange swan on Jul 20, 2006 - 21 comments

A priest, a rabbi and a Hamas leader walk into a bar. .

"If Hamas fails to agree to a permanent ceasefire, we will have to create another leadership, just as we did before with Sheikh Yassin." Former head of the double ISO (Mossad), Efraim Halevy Spoke at the Middle East Forum in Boston last week (yes, he's selling a book) and had some interesting things to say. Earlier post here. (More inside).
posted by Smedleyman on Apr 3, 2006 - 19 comments

An Iranian blogs Israel

Hussein Derakhshan [English site] is one of the leading voices of the Persian blogosphere. His blog [Persian site] manages to reach a wide audience in Iran despite being officially censored. Currently, he is fulfilling his dream of visiting Israel [Flickr pics] and breaking barriers in Israeli-Iranian relations. Lisa Goldman, his host in Israel writes about his visit in her blog, too. He is interviewed by the Israeli press in this Haaretz article. He has written "Democracy's Double Standard", an NYT op-ed piece, [bugmenot]. from Tel Aviv, and delivered a lecture on "Reform, Youth and Technology" at the Center for Iranian Studies at Tel Aviv University. Oh yeah, he's also a MeFite.
posted by ori on Jan 31, 2006 - 19 comments

The New Arab Public

It's not the war in Iraq that's revolutionizing the Middle East -- it's the media. "Surprisingly, it may be this new public sphere, rather than the war in Iraq or the Bush's administration's democracy rhetoric, that does the most to promote liberalization and reform in the Arab world. " Marc Lynch, an associate professor of political science at Williams College and the (until recently) anonymous writer behind the popular blog Abu Aardvark, talked to Mother Jones about how the new Arab public is transforming the Middle East.
posted by storybored on Jan 21, 2006 - 12 comments

A Spreading Treason

A Spreading Treason The vagaries of U.S. involvement in the Middle East were surely brought home to First Lady Laura Bush on her recent trip to Israel, on a tour of Jerusalem's holiest sites. At the Wailing Wall, where she placed a note in the Western Wall – as is the custom – she faced surly throngs of protesters shouting "Free Pollard Now!" The Pollardites also showed up earlier that morning, as Mrs. Bush paid a visit to the home of Israeli President Moshe Katsav: "Pollard, the people are with you!" they chanted.
posted by mk1gti on May 25, 2005 - 23 comments

Q & A with former Israeli Mossad chief Efraim Halevy.

Q & A with former Israeli Mossad chief Efraim Halevy. Halevy fields questions from readers around the world. See also his article "The coming Pax Americana".
posted by ori on May 16, 2005 - 19 comments

interview with Satrepi (author of Persepolis)

Great Salon interview with Marjane Satrapi (author of Persepolis). via
posted by Tlogmer on Apr 26, 2005 - 6 comments

That was then...

A Report on Mesopotamia by T.E. Lawrence, August 2nd, 1920.
posted by homunculus on May 9, 2004 - 13 comments

HR 3077 - unprecedented federally mandated intrusion into the content and conduct of university-based area studies programmes.

HR 3077 - "unprecedented federally mandated intrusion into the content and conduct of university-based area studies programmes."

"There is a great deal at stake for American higher education and academic freedom. If HR 3077 becomes law - the Senate will review the bill next - it will create a board that monitors how closely universities reflect government policy. Since the legislation assumes that any flaw lies 'with the experts, not the policy', the government could be given the power to introduce politically sympathetic voices into the academic mainstream and to reshape the boundaries of academic inquiry. Institutional resistance would presumably be punished by the withdrawal of funds, which would be extremely damaging to Middle East centres especially."

you didn't have reason to call your congressperson tomorrow? you do now. frightening.

via the excellent openbrackets.com
posted by specialk420 on Apr 16, 2004 - 67 comments

Is Syria next?

Is Syria next? Or understanding the Syria Accountability Act. Interesting criticisms by Rep. David E. Price, who voted for it but with certain reservations here.
posted by skallas on Oct 20, 2003 - 17 comments

Leaked U.S. to U.N. Members Memo

Friday Doublethink Fun. "An extraordinary communication from the United States to UN representatives around the world has been leaked to Greenpeace. In it, the U.S. warns that the simple act of support for a General Assembly meeting to discuss the war will be considered 'unhelpful and directed against the U.S.'"

But really now, do we actually expect the U.S. (which claims it fights to "democratize" the Middle East) to welcome discourse and listen to what the majority of the world may think?
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Apr 4, 2003 - 24 comments

Bush to remake Middle East

WSJ says war in Iraq really first step in grand scheme to remake the Middle East. Rumsfeld and Fleischer can still be seen on TV news implying "we just want them to disarm". More on What Makes W. Tick from The Atlantic.
posted by dand on Mar 21, 2003 - 37 comments

The Push For War (by Anatol Lieven).

The Push For War (by Anatol Lieven). "The most surprising thing about the Bush Administration's plan to invade Iraq is not that it is destructive of international order; or wicked, when we consider the role the US (and Britain) have played, and continue to play, in the Middle East; or opposed by the great majority of the international community; or seemingly contrary to some of the basic needs of the war against terrorism. It is all of these things, but they are of no great concern to the hardline nationalists in the Administration....The most surprising thing about the push for war is that it is so profoundly reckless....What we see now is the tragedy of a great country, with noble impulses, successful institutions, magnificent historical achievements and immense energies, which has become a menace to itself and to mankind."

Excecutive summary: Lord Acton foretold all fruit of "military superiority".
posted by fold_and_mutilate on Oct 4, 2002 - 44 comments

An Open Letter to Congress

An Open Letter to Congress from the editors of The Nation. All the makings of a final plea.
posted by mooseindian on Sep 26, 2002 - 91 comments

Hamas is losing. Good news from the Mideast

Hamas is losing. Good news from the Mideast To all those who insist terror wars can't be won, some evidence you are pessimists.
posted by ParisParamus on Sep 9, 2002 - 47 comments

Official confirms that Syria allowing Qaida to operate in Lebanon

Official confirms that Syria allowing Qaida to operate in Lebanon Ok Israeli intelligence so I assume some will dismiss this as propaganda, though clearly US knows of this and works along with Israeli intelligence. And Syria occupies Lebanon with thousands of troops and thus runs the country. Meanwhile, we will (or will not) busy ourselves with Iraq.
posted by Postroad on Sep 2, 2002 - 17 comments

Syria takes over Security Council rotating presidency

Syria takes over Security Council rotating presidency Now at long last we can get some good moral leadership. This is the same international organization of Truth, Peace, Justice that does not allow Israel a chance to join the rotating chair. Go ahead, flail me with posts, but kind of an organization is this?
posted by Postroad on Jun 1, 2002 - 11 comments

(.) (.)

(.) (.) The United Nations: Non partisan independant arbiter of international matters or hyper-politicized arena? You make the call
posted by BentPenguin on May 1, 2002 - 20 comments

Sharon gone too far. Now even the right thinks so.

Sharon gone too far. Now even the right thinks so. My vote is that Ariel Sharon's offensive is the stupidest campaign in recent memory. Defined here as a campaign that has solved nothing, increased Israel's problems, intensified Palestinian hatred of Israel, estranged many Europeans and Americans, and fanned Islamic hostility. What is General Sharon up to? Sharon's policy is scorched-earth. Under his command, the Israeli army has engaged not in isolating the infrastructure of the suicide terrorists. What he is engaged in is wanton damage.
posted by onegoodmove on Apr 16, 2002 - 49 comments

Rights Group Accuses Israel Of Torturing Palestinians

Rights Group Accuses Israel Of Torturing Palestinians
The Israeli human rights group B'Tselem charged today that Israel has tortured Palestinians who have been detained for interrogation during the current military offensive. The group said in a statement that the interrogation methods included breaking the toes of prisoners. The detainees have also been prohibited from meeting with lawyers, the group said...Israel has long used torture against Palestinian prisoners, but an Israeli Supreme Court ruling in September 1999 specifically outlawed most methods being used.

From torture to assassinations (that result in killing of innocent civilians); from attacking Red Cross vehicles and buildings to preventing wounded and ill from receiving medical attention; from firing in the direction of journalists to house-to-house searches that have resulted in looting - it is clear that Israel is not interested in peace at all, but rather is taking this opportunity to institute a complete clampdown on all Palestinians, to dismantle the Palestinian Authority, and to break the will of what is, at its core, a liberation movement. And to Powell's call for a withdraw "without delay," Israel gives the finger and ratchets up its onslaught. Utterly disgusting. And what's more, the repercussions from this brutal military action will be felt for months to come.
posted by mapalm on Apr 6, 2002 - 73 comments

Terrorists? Of course not.

Terrorists? Of course not. The smoking gun linking the PLO to terrorist organizations and activities [FoxNews link].
posted by hadashi on Apr 2, 2002 - 39 comments

Middle East war predictions

Middle East war predictions "..what we are witnessing looks like joint preparations by the Palestinian Authority, Syria, its Lebanese client, Iraq, and Iran, for war on a regional scale, against both Israel and U.S. interests. I fear we may face a major, sudden, external assault on Israel, meant to precede U.S. action against the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, and indeed prevent the U.S. from going there by enmiring it in the defence of Israel. [From The Ottowa Citizen, lead link in today's Wall Street Journal Best of the Web]
posted by Voyageman on Mar 27, 2002 - 14 comments

"I thought we were the popular front."

"I thought we were the popular front." The longer this goes on, the more middle east becomes like the Monty Python flick, Life of Brian. No really, do a find for "palestine" on this state department list.
posted by shagoth on Feb 2, 2002 - 6 comments

Syria on brink over conflict with Lebanon

Syria on brink over conflict with Lebanon Our good friends on the far Left never address this other occupation in the Middle East, an occupation that is not the Israelis in Palestinian lands; and our policy makers in Washington almost never discuss the issue either, but to the people who live in Lebanon it is their country that for many years has been occupied by some 35 thousand man army of Syrians against their will. And it is beginning to anger them.
posted by Postroad on Feb 2, 2002 - 11 comments

Image and reality: The role of the US in the Middle East

Image and reality: The role of the US in the Middle East The leading spokesperson for the Palestinian cause chastises Israel and the U.S. No attempt here to see that there may be some shortcomings due to excessses or intransigence on the Arab side. Another binary view of reality or a useful assessment?
posted by Postroad on Dec 29, 2001 - 5 comments

A survey of the political climate surrounding President Clinton's strike against bin Laden.

A survey of the political climate surrounding President Clinton's strike against bin Laden. Warning: ancient history (1998). Was he really "wagging the dog", or did he have a valid objective after all?
posted by Jack Torrance on Sep 23, 2001 - 6 comments

The Mideast's forgotten people,

The Mideast's forgotten people, Bedouins cling to ancient tradition - and Israel's bottom rung. With strong historical ties to the land that go back 2,500 years, they feel left out of the who-gets-what debate in the Holy Land.
posted by jhiggy on Oct 24, 2000 - 4 comments

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